Are the cold, winter months wreaking havoc on your skin?
Dry indoor air and frigid temperatures outside can cause your skin to flake, itch, and crack over the winter. But you don’t have to suffer. Follow these tips to keep your body’s largest organ hydrated and healthy the colder months of the year.
Your heating system creates hot, dry air inside your home, which can leave your skin feeling dry and irritated. Using a humidifier will add much-needed moisture back into the air.
Make sure to maintain the humidifier according to the manufacturer’s instructions to avoid unhealthy bacteria and fungi growth.
You should strive to drink at least 64 ounces of fluids every day. More if you're pregnant or nursing.
Not a big water fan? No problem! Recent studies confirm your intake can include coffee, tea, hot chocolate, or any other favorite beverage. Or you can try adding sliced lemons or cucumbers to drinking water for added flavor.
Wear soft fabrics that breathe, like 100% cotton. Rough textured fabrics like wool can irritate dry skin, so if you wear them, layer something soft underneath.
Avoid taking long, hot showers and baths. Hot water can actually dehydrate your skin. It evaporates quickly and can lead to dry, itchy skin. You can also apply coconut oil (or other body oil) to your skin before bathing to protect it from drying out.
After bathing, apply a moisturizer as soon as you dry off to help your skin stay hydrated.
Moisturizing your skin is crucial for keeping it healthy and hydrated during the colder months. Choose a cream over a lotion when possible. The thicker consistency of the cream will help seal the moisture in your skin. Use the moisturizer more than once per day for maximum hydration.
If your dry skin develops itchy or painful spots you can use an over-the-counter cream containing hydrocortisone for temporary relief. If the condition doesn't improve within 4 weeks, see your dermatologist.
Note: Hydrocortisone creams you can purchase at the drug store aren't meant to be used long-term or on the eyes, around the genitals, or on broken or infected skin.
If following these tips don’t help with your dry skin, call (757) 461-1033 to make an appointment at Integrated Dermatology of Tidewater.
Extremely dry skin may signify an underlying medical problem, like eczema or require prescription medication to recover.